Frequently Asked Question (FAQs)

Find answers to our most commonly asked questions:

Top general frequently asked questions

What is included in SDL Trados Studio 2021?

If I do not purchase a Support and Maintenance Agreement, how can I resolve technical issues?

What is the SDL Community?

The SDL Community is a complimentary service to help you get started with your SDL Trados Studio products and to offer you continued support as you learn to use more of the SDL translation productivity product set.

There are just three steps to access the SDL Community:

  1. Use this link to sign in using your ‘SDL Account’ account log-in
  2. Click on the ‘My Sites’ tab and then on the SDL Community icon – you can choose from a number of options to read the latest hints and tips
  3. If you want to log a query – click on ‘New Post’ and post your query to the community

The SDL User Support Community is staffed by both internal and external SDL experts who are there to help you with your query. These experts are constantly monitoring the forum, your query will be displayed and addressed as soon as possible, please be aware that response times are dependent on the current volume of queries.

What should I do if I have a licensing issue?

Even if you do not have a Support and Maintenance agreement (SMA) with SDL, you can find support for installation and licensing issues on SDL Customer Gateway.

Visit our dedicated installation and licensing page for step-by-step instructions.

Do I have to buy an upgrade each year?

If you own a Support and Maintenance Agreement, then you will automatically receive free upgrades as soon as new versions of your SDL products are released. If you do not own Support and Maintenance, then we recommend that you upgrade your software regularly so you can benefit from new features to increase efficiency and quality of your translation projects.

What does SDL Certification mean and do I really need it?

The SDL Certification Program is the industry's premier technology based certification. It's a comprehensive professional education program designed to develop and validate expertise in the use of SDL translation software.

Translators around the world are increasingly using SDL Certification as a key differentiation point for their business to increase their competitiveness. Being SDL Certified signifies to potential and existing clients that you are fully prepared to work with the world's leading translation software.

Where and how can I purchase Support and Maintenance?

For products you already own

If you have already purchased the product you would like support for, you can request a quote and purchase SMA through your SDL Account. Alternatively, contact our customer care team by email: or telephone: +44 1628 410 165.

For a new product

When you order a new product through our online store, you will be given the option to add SMA to your purchase before you have finalized your payment.

What are the system requirements for SDL Trados Studio 2021?

SDL Trados Studio 2021 supports Microsoft Windows 7, Windows 8.1 and Windows 10.

As a minimum requirement, we recommend an Intel or compatible CPU-based computer with 8 GB RAM and a screen resolution of 1024x768.

For optimum performance, we recommend a 64-bit operating system, 16 GB RAM, an SSD drive and a recent Intel or compatible CPU. Full support for 4K hi-resolution screens is planned and will be implemented incrementally in future releases. You can find more information on how to deal with display issues in this Knowledge Base (KB) article or by running an application from the SDL AppStore which implements a fix, mentioned in the KB article.

What is the difference between Studio 2021 Starter, Studio 2021 Freelance and Studio 2021 Professional?

SDL Trados Studio is available in three different versions: Starter, Freelance and Professional. The reason behind having separate versions is that freelance translators do not usually require all the functionality within the full Professional license such as working on a company network.

View the comparison table to see the different functionality between the different versions.

Product related frequently asked questions

What is a translation memory?

translation memory (TM) is a linguistic database that continually captures your translations as you work for future use. All previous translations are accumulated within the translation memory (in source and target language pairs called translation units) and reused so that you never have to translate the same sentence twice. The more you build up your translation memory, the faster you can translate subsequent translations, enabling you to take on more projects and increase your revenue.

What is terminology management?

Terms are words and phrases which describe products, services or industry jargon. They frequently drive competitive differentiation. Most companies use an increasing number of industry or organization specific words which need to be accurately stored, shared and translated. A terminology management tool is a searchable database that contains a list of approved terms and rules regarding their usage. Translation memory is typically used in conjunction with a terminology management application to ensure terms are consistent in the translation.

What is Computer Assisted Translation (CAT)?

Computer Assisted Translation is the technology, such as a translation memory or termbase, used to support a human translator to translate files. CAT tools can be used to ensure speed, quality and consistency during the translation process.

What is machine translation?

Machine translation utilizes machine technology to instantly provide a translation. SDL Trados Studio integrates automated translation and machine translation with translation memory and terminology management, saving considerable costs.

Does SDL Trados Studio work on an Apple Mac?

How many languages pairs does SDL Trados Studio support?

With SDL Trados Studio Freelance you can work with up to 5 different language pairs of your choice and SDL Trados Studio Professional allows you to work with unlimited language pairs. Here's a list of languages available.

Can I open other CAT tools translation memories with SDL Trados Studio?

You can open other CAT tools' translation memories using SDL Trados software via TMX (Translation Memory Exchange). SDL Trados supports the latest standard of TMX.

Can you combine translation memories from other CAT tools and SDL Trados Studio to create a larger translation memory?

In order to combine your other memories and SDL Trados translation memories, you will need to export your translation memories into TMX format and then import them into your new or existing file within SDL Trados Studio.

How many separate installations does one SDL Trados Studio Freelance license allow?

We have two versions available. SDL Trados Studio Freelance and SDL Trados Studio Freelance Plus. You can install SDL Trados Studio Freelance on more than one computer, but you can activate your license on only one PC at any one time. You can also easily return your license and activate another PC through our license manager tool as many times as you like.

If you would like the convenience of two activation codes, SDL Trados Studio Freelance Plus allows two activations at the same time.

For help with activation and deactivation of licensing, click here.

What are the differences between SDL Trados Studio Freelance and SDL Trados Studio Professional?

SDL Trados Studio is available in two different editions, Freelance and Professional. Freelance is priced lower than the Professional edition and has all the functions that a freelance translator could need. Professional includes everything offered by Freelance, but also has extra functionality for project management, working on company networks and reviewing. See our comparison table for a list of the different features in the Freelance and Professional editions.

Buying related frequently asked questions

What happens when I order SDL software from

Once you have created an account for yourself in our Online Order System and paid for your software with your credit card, you will receive an email from SDL informing you on how to download the software and where to find your activation key to license your software. The software is sold as a perpetual license.

What payment methods do you accept? Can I pay for my software in instalments?

Unfortunately you cannot pay for your software in installments but you can pay for it using either a credit card – American Express, Visa or Mastercard and with Switch/Maestro cards or via a PayPal account. A further method of payment that is available is via bank wire transfer. Please note that if you choose to pay by PayPal or bank transfer the software will be available for download, however you will receive your license after the money has reached our account, this could take up to 7 working days. Whereas with credit card payments the licenses are instantly available. However if you prefer to speak to someone before you purchase you can chat with one of our customer experience representatives.

How do I order a Support and Maintenance Agreement?

Please refer here for more information on purchasing a Support and Maintenance Agreement.

Is the maintenance package an annual fee?

Yes, it is an annual fee.

What is the cost of a Support and Maintenance Agreement?

How do I buy from the web?

Please go to the store and select the product you wish to purchase, click on the buy now button, select any training or other products that you may wish to buy, and then proceed to check out. If you are a returning customer you'll be asked for your email address and password to login to your account. If you're a new customer you will be asked to create an account for yourself. Once this has been done you will be asked if you wish to place your order and what method of payment you wish to use. When you have paid for your software you will be taken to a page where all the information will be displayed on how to download and activate your license.

Alternatively if you would like to talk to someone before you purchase then please chat online with one of our friendly customer experience representatives who will be happy to help.

Is there a trial version for SDL Trados Studio?

Yes, a free 30 day trial is available here. The trial is fully functional and offers every feature of the product for you to try.

Software maintenance related frequently asked questions

What is the cost of a Software Maintenance Agreement?

The cost of a Software Maintenance Agreement depends on the level chosen and the number of licenses that you have. You can choose the level of support that best fits your needs.

How can I find out the cost of a Software Maintenance Agreement?

When you order a new product through our online store, you will be given the option to add a Software Maintenance Agreement (SMA) to your purchase before you have finalized your payment.

If you have already purchased the product you would like support for, you can purchase SMA through your SDL Account.

Alternatively, you can request a quotation for SMA through your SDL Account or you can contact our Customer Care team by email or telephone and they will be happy to give you a quotation:

After reformatting my computer SDL Trados Studio was deleted, how do I re-install?

You will need to go to your SDL Account area.

Log in with your username and password and select "Go to My Downloads"

You should see your SDL Trados Studio in your Downloads area. If you have any problems accessing your software please Select "My Support" and go to the Installation and Licensing area and follow the steps of our Solution Finder "Download & Installation Problems".

Where can I get help with my installation and licensing?

Even if you do not have a Software Maintenance Agreement (SMA) with SDL, you can find support for installation and licensing issues on SDL Customer Gateway.

Visit our dedicated installation and licensing page for step-by-step instructions.

How can I get help if I don't have a Software Maintenance Agreement?

If you don't have a Software Maintenance Agreement then you can search the SDL Gateway for resolutions to common issues, hotfixes and patches.

For common licensing and installation issues, visit our dedicated page for step-by-step instructions.

Additionally you can ask questions and discuss the use of SDL Translation Productivity solutions in the SDL Community.

What countries provide support?

UK, Germany, USA, Romania and China. You can log your cases in English, German, French, Spanish, Japanese or Chinese. Please note that the choice of language may influence our response time.

If I have a Software Maintenance Agreement, will I get telephone support?

Yes, If you have a Software Maintenance Agreement our engineers will phone you to respond to cases that you have logged in the support center. You will also have access to telephone support to escalate any of your open cases if we have not responded within the SLA, or if you are unhappy with time taken to provide a solution. The telephone support is manned from 9.00am - 5.00pm in each local office that provides support. You can find the numbers in the list displayed when you open one of your open or closed cases in the support portal.

I am interested in understanding more about your products

We organize free webinars every month on various topics from tips and tricks to beginners guide to translation memory. The agenda is published on the events page and you can register directly for the event of interest to you.

Where can I find more information on SDL Trados Studio training?

Is a Software Maintenance Agreement based on an annual fee?

The Software Maintenance Agreement is an annual contract that is renewed automatically unless SDL have been notified otherwise by a customer, 60 days prior to their renewal date.

Training and certification frequently asked questions

How much does both online and onsite training cost?

To find out more details on pricing for the various training courses and delivery types we offer, please see our training section.

What is the difference between onsite and online training?

Onsite training is hands on, classroom based and is delivered at one of our Approved Training Centers or at a customer's own site.

Online training is live and delivered by an authorized SDL trainer.

Where is the onsite training being delivered?

Onsite training is delivered at one of our SDL or Approved Training Centers or at a customer's own site.

How is the online training being delivered, in which language, is it interactive, who is the caller?

Online training can be delivered in the following languages, on a public, schedule of course dates. See the online course schedule for availability. The training is not interactive but is delivered live with the ability to ask questions. Online training sessions are delivered by - an approved SDL trainer.

Languages delivered in: English, German, Spanish, French, Italian, Japanese, Polish, Dutch, Chinese (simplified), Greek, Russian, Portuguese, Romanian, Danish, Swedish, Finnish, Bulgarian, Egyptian, Turkish, Catalan.

What is the duration and workflow of the online training?

The duration of our online courses is 3 hours. The workflow is detailed in the individual course outlines.

What languages is the training delivered in?

Training is delivered in French, German, English, Japanese and Chinese (simplified), Spanish, Italian, Danish, Swedish, Finnish and Norwegian.

What is SDL Certification?

SDL Certification is the industry's premier technology based certification which provides a recognized standard of excellence in SDL software knowledge. It's a comprehensive professional education program designed to develop and validate expertise in the use of SDL translation technology tools.

The certification has been designed to help educate the translator community on the latest technological developments and best practices in translation technology, terminology management and automated quality assurance checks. As a result, certification greatly increases derived efficiencies from the use of SDL software and ensures the automation and time saving features available in the technology are applied. Additionally, the SDL Certification helps increase quality of translation project by reducing human error and helps individuals achieve their personal development goals.

Do I need to be SDL Certified to accept project work?

No, however holding the credential proves your level of expertise in the translation technology and will make you more interesting to a potential employer.

What is the process to become SDL Certified?

The process for becoming Certified is simple:

  1. Select the certification exam for either SDL Trados Studio or SDL MultiTerm according to whether you are a Translator or Project manager.
  2. We recommend you take SDL Approved Training to prepare for the exams.
  3. You move up the certification ladder by mastering each level.

How long will it take to become SDL Certified?

This depends largely on your current experience in using SDL translation productivity technology. Some translators and project managers pass on the first try, and others who are just starting with the software prefer to take training courses (online or onsite certification training) or simply download our courseware to prepare themselves for the exams.

Find out more about our certification training options to prepare you for the exams.

How much does SDL Certification cost?

All SDL Certification exams are priced the same at: $69, £39, €49, 6,000 Yen.

How long do I have after I have purchased the exams to take the tests?

There is no time limit for you to become SDL Certified. Many translators are currently working through the steps of certification, and will become the first to be more employable because of their skills. If you would like to find out more on how to prepare for SDL Certification, please visit our certification training page or contact us to find out more.

Do I need to update my SDL Certification when new versions of the software are released?

Yes - SDL Certification is specific to each version of SDL Trados Studio and SDL MultiTerm.

What happens when I successfully pass the exam of the SDL Certification?

You will have achieved certification for your respective level upon successful completion of the online exams, for example, successful completion of the Level 1 exam will issue Level 1 certification, with an associated certification pin-badge, web page and certification logo.

How do I transition my 2017 certification to 2019?

SDL Trados Studio Certification for Translators:

If you have already passed any of the SDL Trados Studio 2017 exams you will be given the opportunity to take the SDL Trados Studio 2019 New Features exam. If you pass that you will be have your specific Certification updated to the 2019 version. For example, if you have passed SDL Trados Studio 2017 Level 1 exam and then pass the SDL Trados Studio 2019 New Features exam, you will receive SDL Trados Studio 2019 Level 1 Certification

SDL MultiTerm Certification for Translators:

Anyone with SDL MultiTerm 2017 Certification will be given access to take the SDL MultiTerm 2019 exam.

SDL Trados Studio Certification for Project Managers:

If you have the SDL Trados Studio 2017 for Project Managers exam you will be given the opportunity to take the SDL Trados Studio 2019 New Features exam. If you pass the New Features exam you will receive SDL Trados Studio 2019 for Project Managers Certification

SDL MultiTerm Certification:

Anyone with SDL MultiTerm 2017 Certification will be given access to take the SDL MultiTerm 2019 exam.

If you have older versions of the SDL Trados Studio or SDL MultiTerm exams in your SDL Account but have not yet taken them, they will remain in your SDL My Account. To keep your SDL Certification current individuals will need to purchase and take the new SDL Trados Studio and SDL MultiTerm 2019 exams.

If you have not found an answer in this FAQ then please email your query to

How can SDL Certification help me win business?

For freelance translators:

The SDL Certification program has been developed with the aim of helping freelance translators achieve their professional development and career advancement goals. Additionally, all major translation community websites such as and TRADUguide have recognized the importance of technology Certification alongside linguistic credentials and have added fields to display SDL Certification in their translator's profile area. Search results from these websites have shown that outsourcers actively look for persons who have the SDL Certification credential as a means of validating their level of expertise in the world's leading translation technology tools.

For translation companies:  

Translation companies around the world have shown great interest in the SDL Certification program as they can see the benefits of ensuring a level of competency in translation software for themselves. Currently there are over 200 Language Service Providers around the world who have embraced the program. Additionally most of these companies are using the SDL Certification as a way to add value and attract more business, by differentiating themselves from the competition and actively demonstrating to their clients how they can leverage the efficiencies in the technology to their benefit.

Support testimonials

Geneviève Gillet-Ghenne
Geneviève Gillet-Ghenne
Freelance Translator & Proofreader
Many thanks for your help and kindness! You’re a great team! Not the first time I called for help and I must say I am really impressed by the quality of the support provided.
Ralf Lemster
Ralf Lemster
Managing Partner, Ralf Lemster Financial Translations GmbH
As an experienced SDL Trados user I like to be able to rely on the support of the SDL Language Technologies - especially with complex files and 'exotic' formats.
Chun-yi Chen
Chun-yi Chen
Freelance Translator
I have a support contract with SDL. Although I didn't feel like paying extra for technical support before, I have been using this service so much that it really is worth the money I put in.
Aurelia Heilwagen
Aurelia Heilwagen
Managing Director, Heilwagen Übersetzungen
The SDL Support Team has been very engaged in fixing a customer's termbase. Thanks to fast and professional help we were able to deliver a major translation order in a timely manner and the customer saved 3,600 Euro.